Well, as usual two steps forwards and two steps back.
New tires and painted wheels are on. Had to hammer back the pinch seam to have passable tread clearance on the back tires but no big deal otherwise.
Managed to remove all the end links front and back first while they were easier to reach. With no anti-sway bars it handles like a 6-ton caddy but my wife doesn't think that cornering is a priority, so no green light on fifty bucks for some new end links and bushings for now. The rear one probably couldn't even tell that its gone but the annoying thing about the front bar is it can't be removed without a bunch more work so its just zip-tied up in a silly fashion underneath, and I don't really want to leave it that way. The rear one had a nice spot to swing it out of the way still in its bushings but not so lucky with the front, if left in the bushings the lower control arms would smack it and you can't swing it up out of the way without hitting the tie rods. Oh well, it really isn't the priority right now.
Went to go for a test drive and I fully expected it to be a titch slower off the line with the larger, heavier tires but it was SUUUUUPER SLOOOOOWWWWW, no pep at all. It was quickly apparent that something was wrong, even though all the usual dead giveaways were disabled or burnt out...
What I mean is, the previous owner put black tape over the check engine light so I don't get that tell-tale, and the indicator light for regular D/D4/Drive also either doesn't work or has been removed... if the D4 light DID work, it would be flashing I'm pretty sure...
Super. P1768 was actually set when the car was first unloaded into my driveway, I cleared it without looking it up because it was one of many codes and I wanted to see what would actually come back after putting in oil and some basic things.
P1298 I'm not even concerned with right now. There may be a short somewhere or something but I've only seen that once when I used the headlights, I'll circle back to it later.
I'm much more concerned about the transmission code and it driving around in limp mode. If I clear the codes it will drive fine for a while, but eventually it trips P1768 again and goes into limp. I knew the transmission fluid was looking bad/brown/burnt but hadn't gotten around to it yet.
P1768 (in this car) seems to relate to"Transmission Shift Control Lockup Solenoid". I have a Chilton manual on its way but in the meantime making due with the internet, which will confuse you with Acura version of the same code that is not quite the same problem.
I tested the resistance on the solenoid pair that was easy to get to up top, 13.3 ohms and 13.5, from what I have heard that is within spec but I won't know for certain until my Chilton's book from Ebay gets here middle of this week.
I tested the solenoids with a jumper from 12v+, the left/passenger side one clicked right away. The one on the right/driver's side didn't really start clicking until after hitting it a few times with the 12v jumper, and even then didn't seem to "click" as strong as the other one. Hmmmm.
Well, I should order up a new solenoid pair but thing being a budget rig as it is I'm already toeing a fine line having gone in for new tires and now transmission problems rearing its ugly head. This all happened the very first time my wife joined me for a test ride so she is not impressed and not eager to spend any money on parts when the entire transmission could be too far gone.
I'm going to see if I can get my hands on a few jugs of Valvoline MaxLife in town this week, change out a good 9-12 quarts and then pull that solenoid pair and see if hopefully
1) it has the gasket with the little mesh screens, and hope they are blatantly gunked up and easily cleaned, and
2) bench test the solenoids some more and try to clean them up and get them both firing reliably.
Since the ohms check out on both of them (based on what one guy in a youtube video said was within spec...), I'm banking on finding dirty mesh screens and doing a little cleaning and then hopefully they will continue to work provided I get lots of good clean fluid swapped in. Fingers crossed.
I know it could be too little too late for the torque converter or the clutch packs, not so much from the 51 miles I've put on it so far but knowing that it had that code when I got it means no telling how long the previous owner was driving it with this issue. If the clutch packs are disintegrating then it probably won't last long, and then we will have to face the difficult decision of upping our investment for a replacement transmission or a rebuild. I'm crossing my fingers that there are still some miles to be wrung out of it with new fluid and cleaned mesh screens but hard to say at this point.
I also discovered (but am not dealing with right now) that the cv boots are both torn on the rear driver's side axle, and the passenger side doesn't look like they will last much longer. Not even going to touch those unless the transmission does a complete 180 with some fresh fluid and such. Another chunk of $$$... I've done the "just the boots" before on other cars, and it stinks and I said "never again I'll just order the whole axle assemblies
"... Well I don't know in this case... dollars vs time. Oh well, another day's problem, transmission first otherwise all else is moot.
I changed the upper and lower radiator hoses so no more leaking coolant and got some fresh coolant in there. Pretty sure the upper hose was only leaking because the valve cover kept leaking oil on it causing the rubber to swell and weaken. That problem is gnawing away on the heater hose right next to it as well but it will have to hang in there for now.
Not sure when I will get out to search for the fluid, most places have outrageous shipping times on it right now but I am also going to pay out the nose to get it in town. Time vs money again. At least I can feel like I'm supporting the tiny local parts shop if I pay 30% above internet price for 3 gallons...
Will the transmission come back to life or will the project grind to a halt? To be continued!